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State v. Hunter

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

September 17, 2013

State of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Antonieus D. Hunter, Defendant-Appellant.

APPEAL from the Franklin County C.P.C. No. 12CR-07-3609 Court of Common Pleas.

Ron O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Valerie Swanson, for appellee.

Yeura R. Venters, Public Defender, and Allen V Adair, for appellant.

DECISION

BROWN, J.

(¶ 1} This is an appeal by defendant-appellant, Antonieus D. Hunter, from a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas sentencing appellant to consecutive terms of imprisonment following his guilty plea to two counts of sexual battery.

(¶ 2} On July 19, 2012, appellant was indicted on three counts of rape, in violation of R.C. 2907.02. On December 20, 2012, appellant entered a guilty plea to two counts of sexual battery, stipulated lesser offenses. The trial court conducted a sentencing hearing on March 1, 2013. By entry filed March 6, 2013, the trial court sentenced appellant to serve a three-year prison term as to each count, with the sentences to be served consecutive to each other.

(¶ 3} On appeal, appellant sets forth the following assignment of error for this court's review:

The trial court erred by imposing consecutive sentences without making findings required by R.C. 2929.14(C)(4).

(¶ 4} Under his single assignment of error, appellant contends the trial court erred by failing to make requisite findings under R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) before imposing consecutive sentences. Appellant notes that House Bill 86 ("H.B. 86"), effective September 30, 2011, restored the requirement that trial courts set forth findings when consecutive sentences are imposed. Appellant argues that the trial court's failure to make the necessary findings requires a remand for resentencing.

(¶ 5} In response, the state does not challenge appellant's assertion that the trial court failed to make statutory findings for imposing consecutive sentences as set forth in R.C. 2929.14(C)(4). Rather, the state argues that this court should apply a plain error standard of review and find that no plain error occurred in this case.

(¶ 6} R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) states:

If multiple prison terms are imposed on an offender for convictions of multiple offenses, the court may require the offender to serve the prison terms consecutively if the court finds that the consecutive service is necessary to protect the public from future crime or to punish the offender and that consecutive sentences are not disproportionate to the seriousness of the offender's conduct and to the danger the offender poses to the public, and if the court also finds any of the following:
(a) The offender committed one or more of the multiple offenses while the offender was awaiting trial or sentencing, was under a sanction imposed pursuant to section 2929.16, 2929.17, or 2929.18 of the Revised Code, or was under postrelease control for a prior offense.
(b) At least two of the multiple offenses were committed as part of one or more courses of conduct, and the harm caused by two or more of the multiple offenses so committed was so great or unusual that no single prison term for any of the offenses committed as part of any of the courses ...

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